Fennel is a powerhouse of vital and essential compounds, anti-oxidants, dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins. Being a rich source of minerals like potassium, manganese, copper, iron, calcium, selenium, zinc, and magnesium fennel seeds aid in growth, red blood cell formation and its powerful anti-oxidant properties removes free radicals, aging and degenerative neurological diseases.
A storehouse for vitamins like Vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C as well as many B-complex vitamins like thiamin, pyridoxine, riboflavin and niacin they help in regulating good and bad cholesterol levels, regulate the immune system and metabolism and keeps the muscles, nerves and bones healthy.
Fennel: An excellent aid to digestion
Fennel is a perennial plant cultivated across India. The leaves of fennel stimulate appetite and aid digestion. They remove toxins and waste from the body in the form of urine.
The many uses of fennel seed oil
Fennel seeds are also used in cough syrups and honey and as a flavouring agent in soups, meat dishes and sauces. In India and Pakistan, after a meal roasted fennel seeds or fennel seeds coated with sugar are eaten for fresh breath and for good digestion especially after a heavy spicy meal.
Fennel seed is a key ingredient in Chinese five-spice powder which is used in meat, chicken and spicy curries and in Chinese continental food preparations for flavour, aroma and also for easy digestion.
Five-Spice Fennel Curry Powder
Makes roughly 50gms of spice powder
In a dry sauce pan over medium heat, roast the above seeds until the aroma comes out. Toss the seeds in the pan occasionally to prevent burning. Allow to cool.
Grind for a minute or two until a fine powder is formed. Grind for few more seconds if large pieces remain. Use it for mutton, chicken, egg and vegetable curries and gravies for taste and good digestion.
Store the spice powder in an airtight spice jar. It is best to make small batches so that the powder is very fresh whenever you use it and the aroma is not lost, but the spice powder can be stored for several months.